Free business training workshops

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From marketing, to ecommerce and business start-up, Argyll and Bute Council’s Business Gateway has a range of workshops to help small business owners boost their skills and expertise.

These include some brand new digital topics. The workshops are run by skilled trainers and are all free to attend. Most are half a day duration.

Anyone not sure how their business could benefit from using digital platforms should come to the new ‘enhance your business with digital’ workshop on September 27.

This covers opportunities and risks of using digital and also of not using digital. It will help overcome some of the fears and perceived barriers to getting involved, along with some simple next steps to take to enter the world of digital.

To improve marketing  attend the ‘marketing your business’ workshop on September 5.

This will review current activity, better understand markets, customers and competitors, strengthen unique selling points and develop the right marketing mix for specific goals and budgets.

This workshop will be delivered for Business Gateway by consultant Alistair Kennedy of Lornal Ltd. Alistair has 30 years’ experience in domestic and export markets.

For anyone wanting to get their business noticed without spending money, the‘get your business noticed – PR on a budget’ workshop is on October 1.

It covers how to get a business featured in newspapers, radio and television, understanding the media, finding the stories that journalists will want to tell and how to contact with them.

For eight years journalist Colin Kelly has run this workshop for Business Gateway.

Colin is best known for presenting programmes at BBC Radio Scotland, STV, Real Radio and Radio Clyde.

He has a  journalism degree from Napier University and runs his own media relations consultancy.

Colin works with individuals and businesses, helping them gain free, positive coverage in newspapers and on radio and television.

Oban is the venue for the ever popular one and a half day ‘business start-up’ workshop  on October 3 and 4.

Designed for those moving into self-employment, it helps turn ideas into a practical and effective plan.

It covers three key areas: marketing, business planning and finance.

The workshop covers understanding competitors, identifying target customers and how to reach them effectively.

Planning is vital  and the workshop shows what to think about before going ahead.

Good financial management is essential and the workshop covers managing a profit and loss account, producing a cashflow statement, understanding working capital requirements and identifying sources of finance.

A one day version of this workshop will take place on Mull on October 18.

To book a place or to find out more about the full range of workshops, contact the Business Gateway team on 01546 604555 or email: business.gateway@argyll-bute.gov.uk.

Businesses have benefited from Argyll and Bute Council’s ‘business gateway local growth accelerator programme, which provides grants and specialist advice to support business growth.

To benefit from support, businesses must first register for the programme and meet a business adviser to discuss support and agree a growth action plan.  The registration form can be downloaded at: www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/bglgap.

Deadlines for registered businesses are August 31, 2018 for a growth grant, September 30, 2018 for a key sector grant and October 31, 2018 for an application for specialist advice support.

Applications close sooner than these stated dates if the programme budget is committed, so get in touch as soon as possible.